For those who know me well, you should know that badminton is definitely one of my main sports (beside football la). I have been playing badminton for as long as I can remember and since now I have a blog on my own, i feel that it’s a good idea to write something about badminton and probably share some tips and guides on how to improve further. No, i’m not a professional player and i’m not a qualified coach as well but whatever i write over here will be the very same advice that was given to me time and again over the years so i think that should be a pretty general guide. A guide that everyone can use no matter you’re playing at kampung or at company level. Since I can only write about it and i could not show the real action, so i’ll try explain as clear as possible but for effective learning, it is recommended that you ask some professional to guide you. But at least, i’ll write about the point and you can further explore or ask about it from the real sifu.
So enough about blah-blah, we’ll just go straight to the basics. Yes, in everything you need to get your basics right first. Without the basics, you will definitely not be able to go further. So if you think you’re not playing well now and you are not improving anymore, trying going back to the basics and get it right! So what are the basics? I’ll split it over to three main categories, which refers to gears/equipment, technique and footwork.
Before you start, you’ll definitely need your gears and equipment, in this case, your racket or better known as ‘pou kim’ to meself. hehe. Shoes are definitely important. Without proper shoe, you’re movement on the court will be affected. You should choose a shoe that you feel comfortable wearing. And please, don’t wear a sport shoe and play badminton. Please buy a proper badminton shoe and there are many brands out there now you can choose from. But based on my experience, never ever buy Yonex badminton shoe. Yonex shoes are really lousy when it comes to quality. It won’t last long and it is costly. So it’s not bang for buck at all. Only buy them if you can afford them and if you really like them. Otherwise, feel free to go for other brands. As for shorts and t-shirts, just get whut-eh-vah that you find comfortable to wear when moving around, as simple as that.
Next, i’ll move on to ‘pou kim’. Yes, this will be your sword during your countless battles to come. Contrary to popular beliefs, you don’t need a ‘super sword like the ones that can cut or pierce through the best shield’. Yes, racket is important but spending lots of moolah on a high end racket won’t bring you anywhere. For a start, a racket around RM200 budget and below should be more than sufficient for you. The only thing that you should focus on is on your preference of racket. Some people prefer holding a balanced racket, some prefer light while others prefer a head heavy racket. Try to test the rackets (although i know it’s hard to loan one to try) before you buy them. Otherwise, when buying, just get hold of the racket and randomly swing it around and feel it. You should be able to generally feel if the racket is very light or heavy or head heavy. But remember, holding a brand new racket without string is totally different from using and swinging it when playing for real. But like i said, it’s hard to borrow rackets from everyone and trying until kao kao before you decide on your purchase.
*ps: i’m not talking about the RM20 heavy steel racket cap ayam which can be bought anywhere at kedai Ah Chong, Ahmad or Muthu, don’t get me wrong. hehe…
Next i’m going to talk about technique. This is definitely one of the most important aspect of the game. Put it this way, you can be a muscular guy like Arnold Seesawwseenehgar but if you hold the racket the wrong way as well as swing it the wrong way, i bet you can hardly hit the shuttle more than half court. Just take a look at our very own Malaysian player, Lee Chong Wei, look at his hands and they are not muscular at all. But look at his shots, so this is all down to technique. Go find a sifu and learn the correct way to hold a racket. Also, make sure that your strokes are correct. Applying the wrong technique when hitting the shuttle will not only result in weak shots but also you will be wasting more energy or straining your muscle more. So remember to polish up your technique and strokes!
Lastly, if you want to move smoothly or gracefully around the court, it’s all down to footwork. Yes, there are proper ways to move around the court and we call it as footwork. If you don’t have a proper footwork, then you’ll end up like a chicken running around the court chasing the shuttles. Usually how the training is done for footwork is through shadow play. You just move around the court as if you’re playing a real game but then, it’s actually something sort of like a simulation game. The idea is always to return to the centre of the court after moving to all the corners of the court and while doing that, you have to make sure that your footings are right. Which leg to move first and how many steps you are suppose to take. And again, as example, if Usain Bolt does not have the proper footwork for badminton, i can bet with you that i am going to be faster than him at the badminton court. heh!
So here you go, my first write up on a guide to badminton. There are a few more things i have in mind and i’ll write them later when i do have the time. But for now, i hope the information above will be useful to you guys, especially newbies, as the basics or fundamentals is always very important.